March 18, 1968 – RFK’s ‘GDP measures everything except that which is worthwhile’ speech

On the campaign trail for the Democratic nomination to be the 1968 nominee, Bobby Kennedy (him wot bugged Martin Luther King) gave a speech that would sadly still be considered loopy today.

“Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things.  Our Gross National Product, now, is over $800 billion dollars a year, but that Gross National Product – if we judge the United States of America by that – that Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. ” [full speech]

 

Other things that happened on this day

1967 Torrey Canyon sinks

1992 “The 1992 US election intervened as a factor in the negotiations during that year. All the potential Democratic candidates favoured a quantified target on C02 emissions on the European model. Clinton also said he would give “serious consideration” to cuts of 20-30 per cent by 2004’ (ECO, 18 February, 1991). This injected a dynamic into the US’s position, and it might well be possible to attribute some of the change in that position to this. (Paterson 1996: 87)

2010 Solar by Ian McEwan released (it’s great fun!!)

 

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